Motivations of older volunteers in three European countries

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Motivations of older volunteers in three European countries. / Principi, Andrea; Chiatti, Carlos; Lamura, Giovanni.

I: International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 33, Nr. 6, 01.09.2012, s. 704-722.

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Principi, Andrea ; Chiatti, Carlos ; Lamura, Giovanni. / Motivations of older volunteers in three European countries. I: International Journal of Manpower. 2012 ; Vol. 33, Nr. 6. s. 704-722.

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Motivations of older volunteers in three European countries

AU - Principi, Andrea

AU - Chiatti, Carlos

AU - Lamura, Giovanni

PY - 2012/9/1

Y1 - 2012/9/1

N2 - Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate older volunteers' motivations, with special focus on country differences, considering the kind of activities carried out and age differences. Design/methodology/approach: Using the Volunteer Function Inventory (VFI), the authors measured motivations to volunteer of volunteers aged 50 or older, belonging to organizations engaged in the largest activity sectors of three European countries: The Netherlands (n=468), Germany (n=113) and Italy (n=279), for a total sample size of 860 subjects. Findings: Altruistic motivations are found to be more important for German older volunteers compared to Dutch and Italian older volunteers, but in the latter country they increase with ageing. Older volunteers engaged in selfless activities are more driven by altruistic motivations, especially in Germany and Italy, whereas egoistic motivations on selfish activities are important in all countries. As age increases, older volunteers' emotional gratification goals are pursued especially in Italy, whereas the desire to pursue new knowledge is greater for younger-old volunteers in general, but especially in The Netherlands. Practical implications: The findings are relevant for local, national and European policy makers and NGO-managers concerned with the issue of recruiting and retaining older volunteers - a crucial issue for promoting active ageing outside the labour market. The results show how motivations influence the decision to volunteer in later life and will enable better planning of appropriate recruitment and retention strategies. Originality/value: This research represents, to the authors' knowledge, the first cross-national investigation based on the VFI tool to specifically analyse the motivations of older volunteers across Europe.

AB - Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate older volunteers' motivations, with special focus on country differences, considering the kind of activities carried out and age differences. Design/methodology/approach: Using the Volunteer Function Inventory (VFI), the authors measured motivations to volunteer of volunteers aged 50 or older, belonging to organizations engaged in the largest activity sectors of three European countries: The Netherlands (n=468), Germany (n=113) and Italy (n=279), for a total sample size of 860 subjects. Findings: Altruistic motivations are found to be more important for German older volunteers compared to Dutch and Italian older volunteers, but in the latter country they increase with ageing. Older volunteers engaged in selfless activities are more driven by altruistic motivations, especially in Germany and Italy, whereas egoistic motivations on selfish activities are important in all countries. As age increases, older volunteers' emotional gratification goals are pursued especially in Italy, whereas the desire to pursue new knowledge is greater for younger-old volunteers in general, but especially in The Netherlands. Practical implications: The findings are relevant for local, national and European policy makers and NGO-managers concerned with the issue of recruiting and retaining older volunteers - a crucial issue for promoting active ageing outside the labour market. The results show how motivations influence the decision to volunteer in later life and will enable better planning of appropriate recruitment and retention strategies. Originality/value: This research represents, to the authors' knowledge, the first cross-national investigation based on the VFI tool to specifically analyse the motivations of older volunteers across Europe.

KW - Active ageing

KW - Altruism

KW - Elderly people

KW - Germany

KW - Italy

KW - Motivation (psychology)

KW - Motivation to volunteer

KW - Older volunteers

KW - The Netherlands

KW - Voluntary organizations

KW - Volunteer function inventory

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84865803102&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1108/01437721211261831

DO - 10.1108/01437721211261831

M3 - Article

VL - 33

SP - 704

EP - 722

JO - International Journal of Manpower

JF - International Journal of Manpower

SN - 0143-7720

IS - 6

ER -